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[Public Domain]



Archer Productions, Inc.Our Cities Must Fight (1951)

something has gone horribly wrong 8-p
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Civil defense film admonishing U.S. city dwellers to stay and fight in case of enemy invasion, rather than evacuate. Filmed in New York and other cities.

This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives

Producer: Archer Productions, Inc.
Sponsor: U.S. Federal Civil Defense Administration
Audio/Visual: Sd, B&W
Keywords: Atomic-nuclear: Civil defense; Cold War; Infrastructure

Creative Commons license: Public Domain

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Average Rating: 3.56 out of 5 stars3.56 out of 5 stars3.56 out of 5 stars3.56 out of 5 stars

Reviewer: JayKay49 - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - August 31, 2014
Subject: Times Sure Have Changed
We used to worry about nukes vaporizing cities. Now we worry about some stone age leftover in a burka blowing up a WalMart.

As Roseanne Roseanne-ah-dana used to say "It's always something."
Reviewer: JohnLloydScharf - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - February 22, 2010
Subject: The Times/World Has Changed
Pretending that radiation would be gone in hours was a blatant lie in this film. Most of the ideas of that era are outmoded. The USSR is not likely to shoot any missile. Not even Iran will do that. Likely it will be a cluster of nukes in something as small as a pick-up crossing the border that will bring nukes in. We will not be able to fight an enemy we cannot identify delivering nukes to the center of Manhattan, LA, Miami, and Houston. A warhead today is no larger than a piece of luggage. A half ton pick-up could cross with 5 warheads. A few years ago, a citizen brought over the border a marching band and an elephant without being stopped. No fantastic batch of ICBMs need to be developed or launched. No antibalistic missile would stop them. Even in 1951, this argument was astoundingly ignorant. It is good to watch and do the opposite.
Reviewer: The Chimp - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - August 22, 2009
Subject: Have you got the guts?
Early in the cold war the bombs were smaller and the delivery systems slower so mass evacuation was possible... I guess. Seen in the hindsight of the 21st century it all seems ludicrous now that modern weapon systems give you an 8 minute warning before you are vapourized; coupled with the fact that we don't manufacture anything in our cities anymore. I do miss the cold war. An interesting bit of nostalgia.
Reviewer: The High and The Mighty - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - November 13, 2008
Subject: A Little Nukie Never Hurt anyone!!
"Well Boys,I REckon This It!!Nuclear Combat,Toe to Toe With The Russkies!!".Major T.J.'King'Kong(Slim Pickens)"Dr.Strangelove".
First Of All,This Looks Like a Very Bad Episode of"The Adventures of Superman"That Mercifully Was Never Aired!!
Clark Kent Looks Like a 50's Era Lounge Lizard With His Pencil Thin Mustache While The Chief Questions Him About His Expense Reports:
"Clark,Now Why Is There a Charge Of$20.00 at the'Have A Ball Motel'in North MetropolisOn Here??".
"Well Chief,I Had To Do Some Research For My Series Concerning Prostituition in Metropolis!!".
"Never Mind!!Listen,You Need To Find Out About The Efforts To Evaucate Metroplis When and If The Soviets Ever Attack!!".
Anyway,I'm sure That The Survivors WouldJust Love To Do Their Civic Duty and Clean Up After A Nuke!!
I'm Sure That The Lions or Rotary Clubs Would Have a Post Nuclear Holocaust Meeting And Among Other Topics Would Be"Who Wants To Volunteer To Clean Up The Rubble This weekend??".
This Message Has Been Brought To You By Studebaker.Leading Manufacturer of Trucks for The Military;General Electric.Makers Of Both Your Toaster and Parts For The Atomic Bombs;ALCO.
Makers Of Locomotives and Tanks and Columbia Pitcures.See'Mothra'At A Theater Near You.
Reviewer: marianne333 - 5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars5.00 out of 5 stars - April 7, 2007
Subject: ah no wonder
I was born in 1951, and movies like this help me realize why everyone I know from back then is in intensive psychotherapy. Nonetheless, this is why Eisenhower had the expressways built, for fast escape from cities in case of NUKES. One and a half minutes before radiation is gone, indeed! Or, as we said as kids, Duck and Cover and then kiss your arse goodbye.
Reviewer: GE_Pretzel - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - April 19, 2006
Subject: Have you got the guts?
In this American Civil Defense film, a serious conversation between a newspaper editor and his colleague is used to emphasize the problems that could occur should civilians in urban centres decide to evacuate in order to avoid a major military onslaught. According to the film, mass exodus would hamper emergency efforts, decrease productivity, and lead to a significant loss of morale. Able-bodied individuals who decide to flee the danger are regarded as treasonous. Unfortunately, the editor seems to believe that the radiation resulting from an atomic blast will subside after roughly ninety seconds. While the film is convincing, it seems rather generic when compared to some of the other Civil Defense films produced during the early 1950's.
Reviewer: Tankgyrl Dionne - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - April 18, 2004
Subject: Wow
It is amazing that there are such selfish people out in our communities with little regard for responsibility.

It is also AMAZING to think that people actually needed to be reminded of their duties to their community.

Anyone know what percentage of the population they were targeting?
Reviewer: Bill T. - 4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars4.00 out of 5 stars - December 29, 2003
Subject: No no, stay for the bomb, it won't hurt you!
Simply ludicrouus film which tries to convince people to stick around when the bomb hits, instead of clogging up the highway, you know, to get OUT OF THERE. Why, you could be useful in putting our fires, cleaning debris away and so on! Besides, the radiation just lasts for a day or so, what's to worry about? Interesting that they never mention the fact that if you stay around, you know, you might get sort of Vaporized? Highly reccomended!
Reviewer: Asparagirl - 3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars3.00 out of 5 stars - November 24, 2002
Subject: Stay and fight!
This short film alternately tries to persuade, intimidate, and shame those people who might try to flee their homes in American cities after attacks on the cities. To do so, our serious square-jawed narrators assure us, would be un-American and unlikely to succeed at any rate. And hey, according to these same folks, why flee when "the danger of lingering radiation is not really very serious. After an atomic airburst, the danger of radiation and falling debris is over within a minutes and a half." Riiiight.

Footage of London and Berlin from WWII is used extensively throughout the film.


A plea for American cities to be prepared to deal with enemy attack. Many images of mass evacuation. Some footage of devestated war torn European cities. Entrance shot of Holland Tunnel and Penn Station.

Safety Danger Lurks

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